toy palace

anonymous asked:

ive noticed that a lot of people tend to divide their reviews of fidget cubes only by Legit Cube VS Knockoff Cube [at least, the last time i looked] but wont all of them be manufactured differently and be.. basically different products? especially since the price ranges from something like 3-15 dollars? sorry if this is a dumb question i just noticed that and didnt know if i missing something or if people were just generalizing

In all honesty, anon, the whole subject is a little confusing and there’s some conflicting information. The simple truth is that the idea of the fidget cube belonged to Antsy Labs, they ran a wildly successful Kickstarter (netting them over six million on pre-sales and donations) and this allowed them to turn the idea and their design into a manufactured popular fidget/stimming toy.

The problems of their Kickstarter success - including any number of media outlets carrying the story - means that a lot of people know about the cube, a lot of people can see that many people want the cube, and there’s very little stopping imitators from looking at the images on Kickstarter and attempting their own based on the fact that hundreds of thousands of people want this toy and are willing to pay for it.

(The cost of the toy varies - for the Kickstarter backers, it was $14 USD; for folks ordering now, it’s been $25 USD or, at present, $22 USD.)

In addition, Antsy Labs has so many preorders that they’re having trouble filling them. Some people are waiting months for their toy to arrive. You still can’t buy it outright; you can only preorder and wait.

Lastly, it’s an American-based company, making the toy almost prohibitively expensive for folks who need to pay conversion rates in addition to international shipping. (Something that costs a US buyer $22 USD plus shipping can cost an Aussie in total somewhere close to $50 AUD.) Another problem is that when folks here in Australia order a toy, wait three months for it to be made and shipped, the dollar rate might have changed since; that space of time is potentially costing people more money and making the toy more expensive than it might be.

It gets murkier from here.

Facts I’ve heard about the knock-off cubes include:

  • That the toys are made by cheaper companies wishing to cash in (and can sell the toy more cheaply because they don’t have the same degree of development costs and may be using lower-quality materials)
  • That some of the toys, especially the cheap ebay ones, are actually failed products from the Antsy Labs warehouse sold more cheaply
  • That many of the adverts for these toys that aren’t from Antsy Labs are some kind of scam (in addition to selling a product that voids intellectual property rights)
  • That there is a real and significant quality difference between the knock-off toys and the real ones

(By the way, I’ve collected a few posts on the fidget cube, so here’s the tag for further reading.)

The long answer is this: yes, they’re manufactured differently, especially some of the twelve-sided shapes. The cheapness, though, really does come from fewer developmental costs, lower quality materials (you don’t get the fancy storage cases the real cubes come in) and likely other factors of how much the employees of the producing warehouses are paid. In addition, they won’t have the quality and safety control expenses Antsy Labs will have, or the packaging/case expenses. All these things result in a much cheaper product.

However, the intellectual property - the design of the cube - belongs to Antsy Labs, and by using it without licensing (paying money in return for the use of the design, something that helps cover the costs of developing this to a functional product) it is theft. It is theft. They’re not using the idea to develop something new or similar (the twelve-sided shapes are closer to this); they’re trying to develop the exact same thing.

It is no different if someone took my novella, put a new cover and a new name on it, and sold it: they’re stealing my story. They are profiting or seeking to profit from my work without paying me for it. It’s also no different if someone read my story, decided to make a film or a graphic novel from it and did so without purchasing the licensing rights from me to do so (or asking my permission; I might choose to waive the licensing rights but the choice must be mine). They might be changing the form of my story, but the story is still my intellectual property. Taking it and changing it into a graphic novel is theft and I’d have every right to be upset. If I saw multiple companies doing this to my novella? I’d be well beyond upset!

I say this to be clear: imitation fidget cubes are the product of theft.

However … there are reasons why one might knowingly choose to purchase them anyway. Personally, I would buy a cheap imitation cube from ebay someday, just to see if it is a toy I’d use. I cannot afford to drop up to $50 AUD on a toy only to discover that I’ll use it once and toss it in a drawer. I’d buy a cheap one with the intention of seeing how well it works for me and then, if it’s something I do use, do the right thing and support the creator, Antsy Labs.

In summary: the cheap products are seeking to take advantage of Antsy Labs’s success and the issues with getting a fidget cube (higher costs for international buyers, delay from preorder to arrival) and they are cheaper for many reasons. They are, though, seeing to financially benefit from a design that isn’t theirs, attempting to provide the exact same product.

(Taking the idea as inspiration and developing something different is something else again.)

I know most of us don’t have money, and that’s absolutely a factor. (I’ve always said that stim toys are not an optional extra.) I’m never going to judge anyone for what cube they buy; what one chooses to do with the information above is up to them. But I don’t want anyone to not understand the situation, either, or buy a cube (there’s ads for the cubes from Introvert Palace floating around Tumblr for $15 USD, where buyers are paying almost full price for an imitation product) thinking they’re supporting the creators when they’re not.

If you want to support the creators, go direct to Antsy Labs. Maybe buy a cheap ebay knock-off to use in the meantime. Don’t support companies like Introvert Palace, which charge near-full-price for an imitation product.

If you have any more questions or need clarification, don’t hesitate to ask!

Imagine that you have been a servant girl in the palace since young. As a child, you saved Loki from an accident (to which noone was witness). Not one to owe a debt, he promptly rewards you the next day by using his magic to make your work a little easier. Soon enough though, you help him again by hiding him from Thor’s wrath (when Loki broke his favourite toy). This begins a chain of exchange of favours that has continued to the present day, where noone has yet discovered the unique bond the two of you share.